Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

How to light a pilot light on a gas furnace

If your gas furnace is an older type with a standing pilot light, this video is for you.


If your furnace is a newer, more efficient type, it most like has either an Electronic Spark Ignitor or Hot Surface Ignitor that does not allow you to relight.

REMEMBER: If you don't have a CO Detector less than 5 years old in both your main living area and in your bedroom - get them today. CO is colorless, odorless, and deadly.

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why wont an older model carrier gas furnace light when standing pilot light is lit at all times? Why would there be no gas at the burners


when it comes to GAS appliances , I do not recommend any self fixes . they can explode and do you serious damage even up to death .call a gas furnace repairman

Feb 28, 2016 | Carrier Weathermaker 8000 Gas Furnace 125k...

1 Answer

plot light will not stay on long enough to start burners


Probably neds confirmation of ignition. Clean up the spark ignition sensor and retry. Their are more than one type of electronic ignition. The direct spark older type pilot light the pilot then confirms it is lit back to the control then the man gas is allowed to come on. Newer furnaces have a draft maotor that sucks a hose and trips a switch to prove the motor is running then the ignitor is allowed to come on, after a few moments the fire is turned on. At that moment in time the flame washes in the flame sensor. That gives the control confirmation of ignition. If eithr of these type systems are dusty or greasy or rusty they cannot confirm ignition. So use some sand cloth to clean them puppys and party on.

Oct 26, 2012 | Dayton Gas Furnace Heater

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hi i have a york diamond heater in my attic. I went up in the attic and revomed the grill and the four burners are not coming on. it clicks and u smeal gas but it will shut off. the little blower motor comes on but nothing. I have cleaned the thermo couple, checked the fuse and it was fine, and by doing these two things i still get nothing . Also the red light blinks seven times . Can you please give me a idea why my heater isnt heating up. The unit is around nine years old.


If your furnace uses an electrical glow element to light the pilot light, the Glow Element will need to be replaced. Glow Elements are general used on 90+ High Efficiency Gas Furnaces.

If it uses a standing pilot light rather than the Electrical Glow Element, you need to manually relight the pilot. Since I can't see your furnace, you will need to locate and read your Owners Manual on how to do this or look in the side or inside the pilot light compartment for instructions on how to light it.
Be sure you have stick match or a butane grill lighter with you before you try to light it.

If it's a manual pilot ... if after lighting it, it doesn't hold when turned to the ON position, more thank likely you'll need to have the Thermocouple replaced.

And above all, BE CAREFUL. If you don't feel comfortable lighting a gas furnace, call a professional.

Feb 07, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

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Rheem Model RGPS-12EARJR just purchased in Sept and now the furnace won't turn on. Can't find if there is a pilot light I should be starting, but even the fan doesn't go on - with or without heat


Newer, high efficiency furnaces have solid state controls and NO pilot light.
To light the gas the new furnaces use a ceramic heating element rather than a pilot light.
If the furnace isn't turning on you'll need to get a service tech to look at it for you. The circuit board has built-in diagnostics. Your furnace may have a window that lets you see the diagnostic light inside the blower box. Turn off the light in your furnace room to make it easier to see the flashing LED. See what pattern the light is flashing and look it up in your owners manual.
It's usually something simple, like no power (the light doesn't flash at all, obviously), or too much back-pressure on the exhaust line, or a faulty temperature sensor or faulty ceramic element.
I can't tell how you're trying to turn on the fan, but it could be as simple as a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
There are just too many possibilities to make guesses.

Feb 01, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

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heater doesn't come on?


The electronic ignition system in a gas furnace is a modern development that allows more reliable performance than standing pilot furnaces, provides energy savings and contributes to better furnace efficiency (AFUE). With a standing pilot, found most commonly on older low efficiency furnaces (55% to 65% AFUE is not uncommon), a small gas flame is always burning and is known in the lexicon of American home repair as a "pilot light". The problem with this type of "analog" ignition is that it wastes energy by constantly burning gas and can sometimes be unreliable. These issues have led to the development of electronic ignition systems for mid to high efficiency furnaces that exceed the U.S. government's established minimum AFUE rating of 78%. The electronic ignition occurs typically in one of two ways:
  • Intermittent Pilot, or
  • Hot Surface Ignition The intermittent pilot system uses an electronically controlled high voltage electrical spark to ignite the gas pilot and then subsequently the main burners, when the thermostat calls for heat.
    The hot surface ignition system uses an electronically controlled resistance heating element not unlike a light bulb filament (and shown in the photo above), to ignite the gas burner.
    It is important to understand some of the other components of a modern furnace that you will encounter depending on the type of high efficiency furnace you have. Why? Because they can also come into play in repairing an electronic ignition furnace when it won't run properly. Let's take a quick review of the types of furnace designs and components found in high efficiency furnaces using electronic ignition.
  • Nov 14, 2010 | Goodman GMS90703BXA Heater

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